Plus Five MPH is Back

Like a bad penny, the Cubs can't seem to catch a break. Here is the list of the broken catchers:

Steve Clevenger -Oblique rib cage strain. He is scheduled to return to the batting cage this weekend and might be ready to come off the DL by next weekend in Pittsburgh.

Geo Soto - Went on the DL with a knee meniscus tear and had it repaired/ trimmed on Friday. Out at least 3 weeks.

Welington Castillo - Had an MRI of his knee this am and has a mild medial collateral sprain. Out of action about one week if things go well.

So who is left, you ask? Hint: Blake Lalli isn't in the starting lineup tonight...

Blake Lalli?

He was brought up when Soto went on the DL. Hitting only .178 in 20 games in Iowa, he was supposed to be a warm body off the bench but not really expected to start.

Per this Carrie Muskat article (, ol #55 is back to bring his replanted fingers to the catching corpse (pun intended). Remember that Hill had almost amputated several fingers in his throwing hand on October 16, 2007 in a table saw accident. His surgeon had him hold a baseball to put the fingers and thumb back, so that even if they wound up stiff, he'd be able to hold a ball. Switch hitting Hill is a stiff from either side of the plate. Career line  in 833 AB is .211/.275/.298/.573, but if it was possible to believe,  he is worse vs left handed pitching (.091/.167/.091/.258). 

In honor of the Kerry Wood retirement, the Cubs new braintrust wanted  to splurge but after a quick scouring of the minor leagues they settled for "cash considerations" to purchase the contract of Koyie Hill from the Reds. we all know Koyie can't hit and he continued to prove that with a .195 average in 14 games for AA Pensicola.

He's in the lineup tonight catching ol' pal Ryan Dempster, and to complete the Cubbery, he's hitting against a lefty starter (Danks).

Tonight's lineup: Johnson CF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Soriano LF, Baker RF, Mather 3B, Hill C, Dempster P vs. lefty John Danks, 2-4, 6.46 ERA

And Randy Wells is reported to be back from Iowa taking Kerry Wood's roster spot. I'm still not quite sure how Hill gets on the roster unless Castillo is going on the DL, but we  haven't gotten confirmation of that yet. It is possible that Casey Coleman will go back to Iowa as Travis Wood is scheduled to start Tuesday vs. Houston (in Volstad's spot) and Muskat tweets that Wells is supposed to be used in long relief this time around.



Epic post header/headline.

*golf clap*

Sorry I couldn't embed links. Wrote this on my iPad as I'm away this weekend and it's much harder to craft the article this way.

(p.s. thanks Cubnut. Koyie Hill getting two TCR articles in one day would be legendary Cubbery)

Ok. CAstillo gets the lion's share of time behind the plate...Hill spells him twice a week until Clevenger or Soto is healthy.

Pathetic Cubs. Really..

cast is injured and svememem has already said k.hill will get most starts.

didn't see the Castillo injury until after i'd shot my mouth off..lulz

i imagine that would be the case if welly wasn't injured, but hill wouldn't be here if he wasn't so it's kinda moot.

they needed someone fast, but wow...k.hill? maybe dumpster put in a personal call.

But when Castillo is able to play again next weekend and/or Clevenger is ready to be activated off the DL, Hill will be outrighted to Iowa?.............Right?..............right??????????????

sadly (or not) it'll probably be blake lalalialilaili unless k.hill is totally inept.

They better not be starting Hill over any of these guys whenever they return. I would expect the rotation to be:

6 starts by Castillo vs. 1 start by Hill
6 starts by Clevenger vs. 1 start by Hill

Until then, the other guys need to step up in generating offense to fill the offensive void created by both Hill AND a pitcher both being in the batting order.

i imagine...hope...khill will be on backup duty (if lalialaili isn't the chosen one) once one of the other 3 come back.

barring lasting injury, i expect k.hill to be putting in significant AAA time (at least until Sept, if then).

Un. Fucking. Believable.

After watching all these Wood 20K highlights, I wonder what Sandy Martinez is up to these days. Couldn't possibly be worse than Hill.

Just looked it up for fun. He's only 41 years old, and had a .363 OBP in 1998. Despite being retired for 8 years, I'd still take him over 3-Finger Hill.


Recent comments

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  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception?

    Here is Lackey/Lester from last night. It seems their box is a bit different than the K-Zone TBS was using.

    Here is Lester's data:

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.

  • TBS' K Zone seems to be more harsh than the others.

    I wonder if MLB will ask the networks to stop using them. They just make the umps, and the game, look bad, and it only pisses off the fans.

  • ...joe.

  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.

  • Rizzo has been slumping the last couple weeks of the season. Very disappointed it has continued during his penultimate moment of his career to date.

  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester pulled and Strop pulled in. Should of left Lester in. oy.

  • Sweet merciful fuck, I hate the Cardinals.